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Past & Present:  Russian Jewish American Stories

November 15-16, 2015

A unique show of stories, poetry, plays and song, which explores the humorous and poignant stories of Russian-speaking Jews – the life they lived in the FSU and the life they are living today as Americans.

PRESS

Broadway World

Bonnnie Priever Curtain Up

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE

DOWNLOAD PRESS RELEASE HERE

THE PROGRAM

Material Adapted and Produced by Ronda Spinak
Directed by Eve Brandstein
Assistant Producer Barbara Koletsky
Associate Producers Patrick Conde, Rose Ziff, Susie Yuré

Russian Folk Song — Yamshik
Performed by Julia & Jacob Kantor

A Jew in FSU
Written by Tina Grimberg, Rabbi Leonid Feldman and Lilia Lukowsky.  Performed by Lisa Ann Grant, Sean Topps & Kate Rappoport.

Refused No More
Written by Rabbi Leonid Feldman.  Performed by Sean Topps.

Peachy
Written by Yelena Shor.  Performed by Lisa Ann Grant & Eugene Alper.

Price to Pay
Written by Lilia Lukowsky.  Performed by Kate Rappoport & Eugene Alper.

What I Had to Learn
Written by Rabbi Leonid Feldman.  Performed by Sean Topps & Lisa Ann Grant.

My Son’s Turn
Written by Lilia Lukowsky.  Performed by Kate Rappoport & Eugene Alper.

Retired
Written by Alla Rubin.  Performed by Julia Kantor.

Always Come Home
Written by Natasha Basley.  Performed by Lisa Ann Grant & Kate Rappoport.

The Counterpart
Written by Nadia Kalman.  Adapated by Ronda Spinak.  Performed by Eugene Alper, Lisa Ann Grant, Sean Topps & Kate Rappoport.

Drama For Your Momma
Written and performed by Kira Soltanovich.

Love’s Infinite Streams
Music and Lyrics by Jacob Kantor. Performed by Julia & Jacob Kantor.

ARTIST BIOS

EUGENE ALPER (Actor)

Before emigrating from the Soviet Union in 1989, Eugene worked as a bread-loader, a house-painter, and, having earned a Master’s Degree in theater, an actor in a Leningrad troupe.  After immigrating to Los Angeles, he has been creatively employed delivering pizza, digging at a Jewish cemetery, enforcing municipal codes, pursuing occasional acting, composing Russian songs, translating Chekhovian memoirs, and studying political philosophy.  With one missing piece of the mosaic—participating in a Jewish Women’s Theater production—now in place, Eugene feels proud and almost complete.

NATASHA MICHELLE BASLEY (Writer) is a peacenik, poet, and short story writer. She has worked in international affairs for over a decade but has continued to dabble in the arts. She sang in the Peace Child Honor Choir of Los Angeles, which took her to a Soviet Pioneer camp in the 1980s in Yalta, where kids from the U.S. and USSR performed a joint musical production about world peace and preserving the environment. She also performed as an actor in Nancy Keystone’s award-winning The Akhmatova Project and Bill Viola’s internationally acclaimed series, The Passions. When living in Nepal, she worked with the Kasthamandap Modern Art Collective to produce a fashion show entitled Wearable Art and also sang back-up for a now-defunct rock band. She continues to write and hopes to publish her memoir-cum-novel about her adventures around the world. Natasha would like to dedicate “Always Come Home” to her mother, Alicin Varonica Basley.